Public Health

MPH/MPA dual degree

The MPH/MPA dual degree program offers students with a particular interest in public health policy and management the chance to complete both degrees in three years, rather than the four required for two stand-alone degrees.

Students must be admitted to both the Truman School for Public Affairs and the Master of Public Health Program independently; on-campus option only.

What is public health?

Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities – including animals and the environment. Public health professionals promote healthy lifestyles, research disease and injury prevention, and detect, prevent and respond to infectious diseases. Public health solutions are aimed at protecting the health of entire populations versus only individual patients. Via viewing patterns of population health, public health work also addresses health disparities and promotes healthcare equity, quality and accessibility. Public health professionals try to prevent problems from happening or recurring through implementing educational programs, recommending policies, administering services and conducting research.

How is public affairs related to public health?

Policy is an essential part of public health. Students in this dual degree learn about health promotion and policy development. They learn how community programs are developed and evaluated, as well as the role of policy and public engagement and advocacy on health. This dual degree is a good choice for students interested in in policy areas and improving the environments in which we live, work and play through advocacy, and government and nonprofit professions.

What kinds of jobs are available for health promotion and policy graduates?

This dual degree gives students the expertise in health promotion, policy development, and government agencies to allow them to make a real difference in local and federal government. As knowledgeable advocates for public health graduates will find employment in policy analysis centers, city management, government health agencies, and hospital and nonprofit management. Some alumni with this degree have become lobbyists at the state and national level and also pursued research and policy development for the Federal Drug Administration and the Center for Disease Control.

What is the Master of Public Health / Master of Public Affairs degree program like?

This dual degree is a combined program in which the student may earn a Master of Public Health (MPH) and a Master of Public Administration (MPA). The course of study is designed specifically to integrate advanced public affairs and administration practice with population-based public health knowledge and skills. The linkage of public affairs practice with public health will improve the delivery of both public administration and public health services in a variety of situations and settings. With the joint degree, students acquire complementary skills, knowledge, and perspectives of both disciplines. Graduate work in public administration equips students with advanced mastery of policy theory and practice, while public health training provides a population-based, multi-disciplinary team perspective. In addition, the Master of Public Health coursework can be completed 100% online or on-campus.

How long will the dual degree program take?

Both degrees can be earned simultaneously while studying at MU. Typically, a full-time graduate student would complete the Master of Public Health or Master of Public Affairs in two years. Completing dual degree program removes 1 year of coursework from completing the degrees separately. Therefore, students in the dual degree program can complete both degrees in as little as 3 years of full-time study

What do I have to do to get into the program?

You need to be admitted separately to both the Truman School for the Master of Public Affairs and the Department of Public Health for the and the Master of Public Health program to be in the dual-degree program. The MPH application is available online. You will be asked to fill out basic information about yourself provide short essays about your interest in public health.

Who can help me while I’m in the program?

The MPH program has an academic advisor that meets with all students. The advisor can help you choose and navigate your courses and your program of study. Additionally, you are assigned an academic advisor in the Truman School for your Master of Public Affairs curriculum. Your Public Health and Public Affairs advisors will work together to help you complete the dual degree.

Admission and application

You need to be admitted separately to both the MPH and the MPA programs to be in the dual-degree program.

Request information

Complete our online form, and a Department of Public Health representative will follow up with you.